Pietro Adragna, born in 1988, develops and perfects his studies on the instrument at the Music Academy “Roberto Fuccelli” of Perugia, serving for years as “first accordion” in Fisorchestra “Libertango” directed by maestro Fuccelli. He graduated in classical accordion at the Conservatory of Music “Luigi Cherubini” in Florence under the guidance of Maestro Ivano Battiston. At the same time Adragna dedicated himselve to the study of classical piano at the Conservatory of Music of State “A. Scontrino”of Trapani, under the guidance of Maestro Paolo De Bartoli. In 2009 becomes World Champion Accordion at the 59 Trofeu Mundial De L’acordeão CMA, held in Albufeira (Portugal), while in 2011 he was named World Champion Accordion at the 64th Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships CIA, Held in Shanghai, where he was the winner of the Senior Virtuoso Entertainment Competition and category Digital Accordion Competition. Performs numerous concerts both solo and with various groups and projects founded by him, including the “Pietro Adragna Ensemble” and the ” F e F Duo “, across the country and internationally.
Let’s start from the beginning. When did start your passion for the accordion and how and where did you studied?
It all began in 1994, not far away, I had not yet reached six years of age. Francesca, my sister, studying the clarinet. Whenever I heard her play, I just for fun, I was going to play the same tunes, studies or songs that were on a Bontempi toy keyboard. Noticed it one day his teacher immediately said to my father – your daughter is very musical, but your son is not “normal”! – So my parents, music fans, excited, asked me right away what instrument I wanted to learn to play, and I do not even know it was called accordion: – my arms simulating the “movements” of opening and closing bellows; therefore bother to find me now a teacher who could teach me to play this wonderful instrument. I studied for four years with a teacher in Trapani, then by myself in search of a teacher with whom I could further my studies. Simultaneously undertaken the study of classical piano at the Conservatory “A. Scontrini “of Trapani. From 2009 to 2011, I completed my studies in Variété repertoire with the great world famous master Frederich Deschamps.
You worked in Umbria academy specializing with Roberto Fuccelli of Perugia, within which you was also the first accordion in the Libertango orchestra. Can you tell us about this experience?
In those years I met Maestro Roberto Fuccelli, director of homonymous Academy. So began the long train journeys, from Sicily in Umbria with my dad who accompanied me. There I studied the so-called gender variété and discovered the “classical” free bass accordion. An extraordinary experience, unforgettable, to turn Italy with Fisorchestra “Libertango” directed by the Master himself and where exactly I covered the role of first accordion.
She is a young generation influenced by music often very distant from the repertoire for accordion. This is a limit, or there are chances to converge the instrument to the contemporary popular music?
True, today’s young people think this is just a popular instrument, played in folk groups or at most in the dance halls. We know very well that this is not so. The accordion is a very versatile tool that goes well any kind of music. Not coincidentally, the last you hear even in pop music, shopping.
You come from a region rich in traditions and musical expression, especially in the oral tradition. Didi you ever worked on these repertoires?
Certainly, a good Sicilian, I think it is fair and appropriate to know and, for those who have the ability and luck, to practice and approach those that are the traditions of their homeland. I recall with pleasure my first public performances, first with a “Sicilian Quartet” consisting of accordion, guitar, vocals male and female and tambourine played by the latter and then with the whole folk group “Trapani Mia”.
As a performer, but also as an instrumentalist, you have many opportunities to work abroad. What are the most obvious differences between the international and the Italian scenario with the music for the accordion?
It’s nice to turn the world with your own instrument, as well as a means of expression and communication. I must say, for me, not to have noticed substantial differences: a repertoire that spans the great composers of all time alternating with those who have written originally for accordion works both in Italy and abroad.
What is the repertoire which is more comfortable? And what formation?
Surely what I feel most mine, in which I relate very well, is the kind Variété, which is substantiated by continuous reinventions, often improvised on the basis of a varied repertoire. The preferred formation: accordion, bass and percussion.
You have received prestigious awards and also played on extraordinary occasions. What is the role and visibility, in your experience, of the accordion in the scenario of contemporary music?
Very often, having had the honor of playing in exceptional circumstances (such as the National Anthem along with Maestro Ivano Battiston for Napolitano at the Palazzo della Signoria, Florence) known that people remain almost incredulous with the potential of this instrument.
Can you talk about the projects you are working on at the moment?
Graduated in accordion in 2010 at the Conservatory “L. Cherubini “of Florence, I decided to enter a whole new world for me, curious to start seeing the music from other points of view and not only from accordionist, to find out what’s so mysterious behind the gestures of an Orchestra Director, attending the degree course with Maestro Alessandro Pinzauti. Meanwhile I am completing my piano studies with Prof. Yang Su Cin and working on several projects, including the “Pietro Adragna Ensemble”, playing footage Variété, and “Gitanìa Quartet”, characterized manouche style.
This article is available also in: Italian